I have been wanting to make French Onion Soup for a very long time and now I have finally done it. I mostly used Pioneer Woman's recipe, but with one key change- I cooked the onions completely on the stovetop because I don't have an oven proof pot big enough for all those onions.
I sliced six yellow onions. I normally love chopping up an onion (as long as I'm using my trusty sharp knife.) But six? At first I was thinking that maybe this was a bad idea. The very first onion made my eyes start to water. As Zack Morris would say, "It was peeling onion day in Home-Ec."
But after I took a break, wiped my eyes, and blew my nose, I was good to go. I powered through all six onions while an entire stick of butter melted in my big pot.
I was a little worried when all those onions completely filled my pot, but with some careful stirring and lots of time they cooked down beautifully. I've put together a slideshow so you can watch the onions cook down.
The onions took about 45 minutes to start browning nicely. That's when I added the wine. It is pretty common knowledge that Brett and I don't drink. It's a personal choice that we think is healthy and cheap. We sometimes joke about all the money we've saved by not buying six dollar drinks. Anyways, we occasionally do get a bottle of wine as a gift and I always say that we'll cook with it sometime. Well this is the first time I have ever cooked with wine. This bottle of wine was particularly funny because, unbeknownst to the giver, this was the same wine that was served at our wedding, and from the same year too! I had to dig through a storage bin to find a corkscrew, but I got it open.
I added a cup and backed off. The smell that many wine drinkers probably love just smells like alcohol to me. I had a fleeting thought that I had just ruined dinner. After that cooked down for about five minutes I braved a taste of an onion and I actually liked it.
I added beef and chicken stock, two cloves of minced garlic, and a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce. This simmered for forty five minutes.
While that was simmering along I toasted some thin slices of bread under the broiler.
I had every intention of buying Gruyere cheese but couldn't believe that in the entire fancy cheese section of my store, there was not a single piece of Gruyere. None! So I went with Provolone.
I did add some salt to the finished soup. It just tasted like it needed something... and usually that means salt. The soup was much better than the blurry picture I've taken. It was very oniony- which for me is a good thing. However it was a little winey- which for me is a bad thing. Next time I will put less wine... or none at all. I haven't decided yet.
Leftovers were a disaster. I took the container out of the fridge to find a layer of butter congealed across the top. Soooooo unappetizing. Next time I will either make less so that I don't have to deal with leftovers or use significantly less butter. Or both.